Joss Whedon has been very open about the debt Buffy The Vampire Slayer owed to the X-Men, including Kitty Pryde, the New Mutants and the X-Men: Dark Phoenix storyline. Well. the New Mutants movie does a lot to pay that back. Both being owned by Fox, pre-Disney deal, may have helped this along a bit.
Director and writer Josh Boone told Bleeding Cool EIC Kaitlyn Booth "So I really did want to make a teen movie like a John Hughes movie, like a Breakfast Club. I wanted to do what Joss Whedon did 30 years ago in Buffy and I have a gay romance, a real gay romance. It worked so organically with the material in the comic and the way these girls interacted."
It's not just a thematic influence on a bunch of teenagers dealing with powers, their fears and their horror. But Rahne Sinclair is a keen Buffy fan. The show is seen playing from a bunch of box sets on the hospital shelves in which most of the movie is set. And a scene between Tara and Willow kissing, watched specifically by Rahne, foreshadows the relationship that grows between Rahne and Dani Moonstar. And may also have inspired a confession of repeated masturbation to an absent priest in the hospital confessional booth. Another scene watched later sees the Scooby Gang facing down a horde of demons, which foreshadows the New Mutants also having to work together to defeat the threats that come to them… with the threats to Illyana Rasputin reminding one of The Gentlemen.
It is notable that the Dark Phoenix storyline, previously adapted as both X3: The Last Stand and X-Men: Dark Phoenix, inspired the Dark Willow storyline in Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Indeed, in the first season of Buffy, the episode Nightmares sees a boy in a coma summoning fears from the cast, which manifest themselves in reality, and may have been inspired by the Demon Bear storyline in New Mutants. And Joss Whedon wrote for the first X-Men movie. Now the circle is complete.
The New Mutants, in cinemas now, is a 2020 horror superhero film based on the Marvel Comics team of the same name and distributed by 20th Century Studios. It is the thirteenth and final instalment in the X-Men film series. The film was directed by Josh Boone from a screenplay he wrote with Knate Lee, and stars Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Alice Braga, Blu Hunt, and Henry Zaga.